Outcomes: View Now
“THERE HAS TO BE SOME FLOW OF INFORMATION WHICH CONNECTS THE DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE THING WITH THE WORLD OF DATA AND PROCESSING REPRESENTED BY THE INTERNET” - From: Designing the Internet of Things by Adrian McEwen & Hakim Cassimally
In our first class we covered two considerations for designing smart devices. Firstly, how we create meaningful relationships between the characteristics (material, functional, relational) between physical objects in the world around us and the digital services, functionality and information that’s found online. Secondly, we discussed how those connections have to create real value to be desirable product. We also began to discuss how those value propositions are informed by the contexts the objects are in, and the socio-cultural conditions of those settings.
In this exercise, you’re going to explore these ideas further by going into the field and asking people about the (analog, non-digital) objects they value. By getting you into the field and talking to users
By the end of this exercise, students will:
explored the material culture of objects in the home and identified opportunities for relationships and behaviors with existing objects to inform the design of smart devices
have engaged with an real person to discover the opportunities for connected experiences to create value in their homes
have increased their ability to understand the range of socio-technical considerations that create meaningful, valuable internet appliances.
This project will act as a prelude to our final project. The final project will ask you to create a ‘social object’ that allows people over distances to communicate and connect through a smart, tangible and embodied device.
As part of this project you’re going to
When you meet with them, you’ll use the Home Interview Kit provided to explore the landscape of objects in their home and find out about the objects they value (or hate!) Hopefully this will lead to some interesting insights on the kinds of smart objects you might be able to design for them
During your time with them, use the Interview Kit to perform the following activities
Interview. Use the 8 questions provided to find out more about objects in their home
Co-Design. Generate some possibilities for augmented objects using the “object + internet” brainstorming exercise from class.
Catalog. Critically examine at where those objects exist in the home from materials, functions to relationships and take some photographs (if they permit it) to refer to in your design process. Time permitting / optional.
After the interview, synthesize this information and reflect on what you discovered in their home. Use this to generate a short proposal for an internet appliance ideally tailored to person you have studied. It can be practical or whimsical.
Note: Keep your proposal’s small, well scoped and tractable ideas. Don’t build a massively complex idea (swiss army knife), instead focus on a single action well executed and meaningfully related to the object you’ve chosen.
After you’ve synthesized a concept present it back to them and get feedback on the idea / iterate the concept. Document iterations to your proposal and how the person you responded to your initial idea.
No two students study the same person!
You should not choose someone in your home – it’s too familiar a landscape for you.
If you have any concerns about COVID, you are welcome to conduct this activity remotely, and via Zoom.
Create a Post in the #discoveries channel on slack (see this guide on submitting your work for discovery exercises.
Important: Title your post with the name of the project and include the following label at the end for grading purposes “#fieldwork” e.g. My example name #fieldwork
Write up a short statement (about 200 words) that includes:
In the post, embed images or other content that help illustrate what you’ve discovered through this exercise.
Note: Follow the instructions carefully as these projects require you to follow the posting instructions to receive full grades.